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Brewing in the Great Basin National Park

Brewing in the Great Basin National Park

The purpose of this BrewSummary was to try out some new hops, courtesy of one of our hop suppliers, and not only test the flavors, but soak up some of the ambiance from the Great Basin National Park at the same time!

We did this with Loren, a former employee and great friend, on his 35 L Brewzilla All Grain Brewing System, using a simple, 15 pound grain bill of American Pilsner malt, fermented with S-04 dry yeast for the sake of simplicity, to make a basic IPA with a flavorful mix of hops.

Bristlecone Pine Brew Day in Great Basin National Park 

Equipment List

  1. 35 L Robobrew / Brewzilla All-In-One Electric Home Brew System
  2. Stainless Steel Hop Spider
  3. Stainless Steel Stir Spoon
  4. Stainless Steel 7 Gallon Fermenter
  5. Silicone Transfer Tubing
  6. #3 Silicone Stopper
  7. 3 Piece Airlock
  8. Auto Siphon ⅜
  9. Star San
  10. PBW
  11. Inkbird Dual Stage Temp Controller with WiFi
  12. 5 Gallon Keg
  13. Taprite Regulator
  14. Ultra Barrier Silver Anti-Microbial Draft Line
  15. Ultra Barrier Silver Anti-Microbial Gas Line
  16. Intertap Stainless Steel Faucet
  17. Stainless Steel Shank

American Hop Pellets without Triumph Motorcycles

Ingredients List

  1. Briess Synergy American Pilsner
  2. Centennial Hop Pellets
  3. Comet Hop Pellets
  4. Idaho Gem Hop Pellets
  5. Nugget Hop Pellets
  6. Pahto Hop Pellets
  7. Triumph Hop Pellets
  8. Safale S-04 English Ale Yeast
  9. Fresh Great Basin Glacier Water

Beer Tasting American Pale Ale IPA


  • 15 lbs Briess Synergy Pilsner
    • Mash at 149° F
  • 1 oz Comet at 60 minutes left in the boil
  • 1 oz Nugget at Whirlpool
  • 2 oz Centennial at Whirlpool
  • 1 oz Triumph as a Dry Hop for 5 days
  • 1 oz Idaho Gem as a Dry Hop for 5 days
  • 1 oz Pahto as Dry Hop for 5 days
Comet orbits you can see with the naked eye while we keg


We mashed in the BrewZilla at a mash temperature of 149° F with 5.5 gallons of pure Great Basin Glacier water and allowed 1 hour at that temperature for conversion to happen.

We sparged with 3.75 Gallons of water using the dynamic fly sparge / batch sparge method typical to the BrewZilla and boiled for 90 minutes, adding our Comet pellet hop addition at 60 minutes.

After 75 minutes, we put our immersion chiller in the wort for sterilization, and after 90 minutes we chilled to 180° F and added our whirlpool hop additions, allowing 20 minutes with a vigorous whirlpool, using the onboard magnetic drive pump and recirculation arm, to extract maximum hop terpenes between 180° F and 160° F from our whirlpool hop additions.

Once chilled, we transferred to the fermenter and pitched S-04 and put the fermenter in the fermentation chamber set at 68° F.  We allowed 2 weeks for fermentation to finish, adding all dry hop additions together at day 9 of fermentation, with no bag.

On day 13 of fermentation, the fermentation chamber was set to 35° F and we crash chilled the fermenter for approximately 24 hours, 23 hours in advance of kegging.  Once chilled, the beer was transferred to the keg and force carbonated using 25 psi for 3 days, then lowered the pressure to 12 psi for serving.  Then we drank it!

Sparging it out with 1000 watts c/2020 f3

While we didn’t get to enjoy this beer under an ancient bristlecone pine tree while gazing at wheeler peak, Josh and Loren did get to brew it there!!  We opted for American Pilsner malt instead of pale ale malt to get a lighter, crisper American pale ale / IPA backbone and help express the hop additions more.

Tasting and American Pale Ale / IPA

Tasting Notes 

Aroma is light and fruity, with a mild breadiness and soft piney, herbal aroma.  Hints of oxidation from being shipped across Nevada so that we could taste it (temperature fluctuation).  Color was straw yellow and hazy.  Carbonation was perfect with a lingering white head.  The flavor is a balanced, forward west coast style bitter with a light and bone dry pilsner malt backbone.  Hop characters include a wonderful, herbal dankness and hints of citrus fruit.  Again, flavor is lightly oxidized due to shipping, so a little extra cloying sweetness, cardboard-y characteristic over all of those flavors.

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